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A divorcing homemaker: What are your retirement options?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

From a financial standpoint, being a divorcing homemaker at an old age seems like a recipe for a retirement disaster. You spend all those years getting the job done at home – cleaning, cooking and looking after the kids. So much so that you might not have had time to ponder on the potential vulnerability of your situation should divorce become an option on the table.

Now that you’re facing the breakdown of your marriage, the financial impact appears too real.

How retirement looks like

If your spouse is your family’s breadwinner or primary earner, Connecticut law divides marital assets, specifically retirement plans, by securing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). This order helps your spouse, the “participant,” and you, the “alternate payee,” avoid incurring possible tax consequences due to asset transfers.

After a plan administrator preapproves a QDRO drafted by a legal representative, the QDRO moves to the court for presentation alongside the divorce decree. The court weighs relevant factors, like the grounds for your divorce, the length of your marriage, and both your current and future earning capacities, before deciding. Once court certified, the QDRO returns to the plan administrator for final approval and implementation.

It is crucial to understand that although your concerns may be like other stay-at-home spouses, divorce circumstances greatly vary. Also, you must prepare for the unfortunate possibility that your spouse may attempt to conceal some assets for their advantage. It will be wise to seek legal counsel for guidance in protecting your rights without violating divorce terms.

Taking the path to rebuilding

Handling your financial future during these turbulent times could be an uphill battle, but it also holds the promise of starting again. After all, rebuilding is not so much when you begin but more about your mindset tracking this new financial path during your golden years.